live oak trees and the nuts they drop in the fall
is there any way of preventing all the nuts they drop. we have 2 trees in our front yard and one is messier than the other. is there birth control for them?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Not at this time of year, you are stuck with the acorns that are already there.
But for next year, in the spring during flowering, you can have a tree service pest management provider spray a "PGR" (plant growth regulator) like "Florel Fruit Eliminator", to cause premature flower drop and therefore some reduction in acorn production.
The timing for successful treatment is critical, and depends on monitoring for stage of flower development, so be sure the operator knows what they are doing and have had successful experience. It usually takes two spray applications a couple of weeks apart.
I have used it in California and it definitely works to reduce the acorn load, but not 100% by any means. And if 50% of the acorns remain on a live oak, it is still a whole lot of acorns. So you have to talk with the provider(s), get quotes, and determine if the reduction is worth it for you.
If the area under the trees is open and natural, not planted or paved, you can let the acorns stay with the leaf litter as mulch. They will eventually decay and add to the soil organic matter, which is beneficial for the trees.